Ahead of unveiling our latest product range at ICE London 2024, Duncan Faithfull, Chief Commercial Officer at Quixant, describes the benefits of the new Intel-based IQ 2 platform, which delivers great power, performance and functionality, at an accessible price point.
Quixant has a headliner this year at ICE. You’re about to launch your new Intel-based IQ 2. What’s special and why are visitors going to be excited to get their hands on the new platform?
Quxiant offers three distinct product families; the high-end Intel-based QMAX range launched at ICE 2023; at G2E 2023, we launched the mid-range IQON; and now the IQ 2 is launching at ICE London to fully complete and complement the IQ family set.
At ICE London visitors will experience the full suite of products from Quixant which are available with both AMD and Intel options. We are proud of our relationship built with Intel. It has been a year of hard work integrating Intel products onto our platforms, but this means we are now leveraging the 12th generation Alder Lake processors, which is exciting because it delivers great power, performance and functionality, at an accessible price point.
The driving principle behind the Quixant product family is making sure that whatever your requirements cost wise, we will always deliver the ultimate power, the ultimate performance, and the ultimate ability to show your games in the best light possible. ICE London is an opportunity for our customers to explore the range and talk to us about what they are trying to achieve with their games in 2024. The launch of IQ 2 gives us the opportunity to offer an Intel platform at whatever price point and power level the client needs. It will be the first time in three years since the pandemic that Quixant has a complete product family set ready to go, with a range of options and solutions.
Duncan, you recently commented: “Our customers focus needs to be on developing the customer experience, not on the hardware platforms to bring the products to life.” Could you expand on what you meant by that?
We spend a lot of time talking to our customers, as all good suppliers should, trying to understand what it is they are trying to achieve. What is common is that the key differentiator for all of our customers is being able to display their content in the most vivid way possible, while also allowing them to be as creative as they can be. Simply put, they want to create the most entertaining and immersive games that they can. And we believe our role is to be that enabler.
What differentiates our clients in the marketplace is not their ability to design the PC. That’s not going to help them be more successful. What will help them is outsourcing to a company whose sole focus is PC design, which allows them to put their focus on creativity, because content is always king in the gaming world.
It is especially true right now, when there is such a crowded marketplace, that the small points of difference really matter. How vivid your game looks can be a key differentiator, but that is our role in the process. We say to our customers, you focus your time on creating the best content. We will focus our time on doing what we do really, really well, which is sourcing and manufacturing the best gaming PCs on the market.
Returning to IQ 2, the key thing for a range of markets, is that IQ 2 has the ability to drive the ultimate performance demanded by developers, at a price point that is relevant to today’s world.
What does the overview of the entire AMD/Intel-based range look like? How do you describe that to customers in terms of that broader overlook?
Fundamentally we believe it is about choice. It’s not our role to prescribe to our customers whether they want to choose Intel or AMD – that is their decision. What we believe is important is giving them the choice – not just between two providers of the graphics functionality, but also different price points. Whatever the price point and whatever the graphics provider, we now have a solution, because at Quixant, all we do is gaming. For so many of our competitors, gaming is one of their verticals that they concentrate upon, whereas all we do is gaming. All of our support, all of our engineering, all of our technical expertise is geared towards making the functionality of our PCs the best they possibly can be for gaming.
And the final thing – the wrapper – is that Quixant’s service is geared to the same end. So we have an international support infrastructure across the world that fundamentally serves a single purpose – help our customers deliver the ultimate gaming performance.
Whether you choose a product from Intel or AMD, the Quixant service is the same. The customer decides the product and price point, but we are here to support that choice.
Quixant recently announced its partnership with Elas, a Bosnia-based business that’s been building slot and terminals for decades. What does the deal bring to Quixant’s cabinet offering and will we see the fruits of the partnership at ICE?
We have two cabinet ranges: the Qinetic, which is geared for sports betting; and the Quantum, which is a traditional slot machine. Up to this point we have been manufacturing all of our cabinets in North America with a brilliant US partner. However, as we respond to opportunities in Europe and Latin America, particularly where game manufacturers are looking for the ultimate outsourcing solution, Elas provides a premium quality product from a highly experienced manufacturer in Europe. Elas has been building cabinets for three decades, which is helping Quixant deliver the ultimate position of quality and features, and they help us in Europe in terms of logistics.
Shipping a large number of cabinets across the world from North America is not the greenest solution from a sustainability perspective. So Elas helps in a number of ways; they are fantastic at manufacturing; they are close to our marketplaces; and regional customers know Elas create and deliver premium quality products at a good price. We are currently working with Elas on behalf of several customers and you will see an example of both our cabinets on the Quixant booth at ICE London.
You talked about IQ 2 being powerful and cost-effective as a platform. What does that mean in terms of global market reach and for adjacent sectors, such as amusements and route markets?
As with all Quixant platforms, IQ 2 comes equipped with embedded software on board that’s already approved for customer jurisdictions. Nobody has to worry about that part of the game design process. And for LATAM, it is a really exciting product. We offer the IQ 1, which leverages AMD processors, and are now supplementing the IQ range with the IQ 2, which is a more powerful platform at a more competitive price point. So for those markets where price is really is important, it will play a massive role because, again, it will help the drive the quality of game design within the cost constraints in which they operate.
We are currently talking to a number of customers who operate in LatAM countries, in particular Brazil. We believe the IQ 2 is perfect not just for Brazil, but route markets too in combination with the Quixant range of cabinets, providing a brilliant cost-effective solution for route and amusement markets. One thing to highlight is that the IQ 2 platforms feature a number of cooling solutions that are very effective for different environmental conditions, making them perfectly suited for Brazil.
When you have a product like the IQ 2, that is applicable to multiple markets and segments, do you create problems that you have to solve in terms of sales, support and servicing?
Quixant’s sales team are on the ground in all the major gaming jurisdictions. We have just recruited a team of native speakers, which I think is really important. Plus, we are also addressing post-sales service support functions in Latin America. In addition, Quixant is a truly global company. We have a presence in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. We think that it is really important, not just from the point of view of language, but from a speed perspective.
Service is really important. We do not believe that our partners should be sending products back to us if they want to add features or need something to be repaired. We believe this should be done locally with urgency. And that is how we have positioned ourselves. We build all our platforms with the global markets in mind, so that our product portfolio is applicable in whatever jurisdiction it is required in, which means that we have to design our products with a multitude of requirements in mind.
What makes a visit to the Quixant booth at ICE London this year a must-attend event? And what’s the secret sauce that you have that differentiates you from the rest?
The big thing is that IQ 2 completes Quixant’s portfolio of Intel solutions. So for the first time ever, visitors to our stand can view the complete range and pick what is best for their product needs. Our purpose is to give people the ultimate choice and help them with their game design process. That’s what we are all about.
Visitors will see the full range of Intel solutions; they will see how we integrate everything into our Qinetic and Quantum cabinets. And I think the most important thing, referencing the ‘secret sauce,’ is the Quixant service wrapper that fits around everything. We are continuously developing our software suite, packing more features into our orange boxes.
Finally, Duncan, what’s on your radar for 2024. What’s your general outlook for the year ahead?
From the point of view of availability of components, that has definitely settled down. We are starting to see a much improved picture for lead times, which is really important. Our customers do not want to tie up cash having to order stock six months in advance, which is where we found ourselves two or three years ago. So the whole landscape around the supply chain challenges is normalising and we are getting back to pre-pandemic levels. The product from the Far East is much more reliable. It is much more predictable. And we are pretty much down to pre-pandemic lead times.
In terms of the market, 2023 was an interesting year. I think we all bounced out of 2022 feeling massively positive, but it turned out to be much harder than many anticipated. Our view of 2024, which is one our customers generally share, is that it is starting positive. I think there is a bit of caution going into the first half, but if you look at the number of projects we are working on, which are going live from Q2 onwards, we are really positive about the next 12 months. We are investing in people across the world to provide the local support we talked about earlier.
We have discussed Brazil many times, but there has been a lot of work from a regulatory perspective around sports betting and the lottery in Brazil, which is starting to show signs of activity. In response, Quixant has already developed supply chain routes, ready for when the market kicks into gear. I think the key to winning in Brazil will be first-mover advantage. Quixant invests in managing stock in a really effective way to give our customers an advantage. We are doing the same in Brazil. So as soon as the light turns to green, our customers will be able to access our stock, in-country, as soon as they need it.
We continue to optimise our hardware platforms. Everything we do is in support of our customers. And we are excited to see everyone on stand N2-120 at ICE London 2024.